When the NHL’s playoff schedule rolls around in January, the Rangers will have a new set of challenges on their hands.
The Stars and Oilers have both missed the playoffs since 2006 and will now be the third-and-12 in Dallas, which will need to get the puck to Connor McDavid, who leads the NHL with 37 goals, to break the tie.
The Oilers will be playing at home, and McDavid could have a major impact on the game’s pace.
And, while the Stars are a longshot to make the playoffs this season, the Oilers have a lot riding on the outcome of Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
They need McDavid to score a goal to beat the Stars, and they also have to deal with a Rangers squad that has been playing well since the NHL lockout ended.
It’s all part of the big, big plan.
The Oilers, led by captain Connor McLeod, have won seven straight playoff series.
(Getty Images)This series will be the first game in Dallas’ history where McDavid scored a goal in a playoff game.
It’s a huge step for the Stars and a game that could have major ramifications for the series’ outcome.
Dallas’ biggest test will come on the road.
The Rangers, led in goal scoring by McLeod and defenseman John Moore, are 3-0 in the series against the Oilers.
It’ll be a good test for Dallas, whose best chance to make it into the playoffs comes with an overtime win in Game 2 on Thursday.
But McLeod could be the key to their success, and the Oilers are not exactly going to go down without a fight.
The Ducks, led offensively by Patrick Maroon, will be looking to make a statement.
They’ve been the best team in the NHL this postseason and could win this series with the help of the goal scoring prowess of rookie winger David Perron.
The series will also be a test for the Dallas Stars’ defensive depth.
The Predators will have to battle the Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
They will also have a chance to add to their postseason resume with a victory over the Ducks.
The Penguins, led defensively by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, have a big advantage.
The duo combined for 11 goals in the postseason.
They have been dominant against the top teams in the West.
They also have the ability to score with both the Sedins and McLeod on the ice.
The Panthers, led on the power play by Thomas Vanek, have been a tough out in the playoffs.
Vanek has three goals in five games against the Rangers.
But the Panthers’ offense will have their work cut out for them.
The Kings will face a tough task against the Ducks and a tough test against the Blues.
Both teams are battling for the fourth wild card spot.
The Lightning, the only team in their division that hasn’t made the playoffs, will look to keep their playoff hopes alive.
They won their first two games against San Jose, but the Sharks got a lot of help from their defense in a 3-2 series win.
The Sharks have the best power play in the conference, and if they can stay healthy, they could make the postseason in the Wild Card race.
The Islanders will look for revenge after being knocked out of the playoffs by Tampa Bay last year.
They’ll try to make up ground against the Stars after losing two in a row.
The Capitals will be hoping for revenge for their 2-1 loss to the Bruins.
They could face off against a team they’ve beaten only twice in the past three seasons.
The Flyers will look forward to another chance to get into the playoff picture after losing three of their first five games.
Philadelphia will also face a new challenge against the Wild, a team that won the Stanley Cup last season.
The Coyotes will face an uphill battle to get back into the Western conference playoffs.
The Ducks, who defeated them in six games last season, have struggled this postseason.
The Flames will look at their two losses and the way the Bruins beat them last year, while also taking into account the fact that they are facing a new team.
The Wild have a long way to go to reach the playoffs and will face another team they have never faced before, the Panthers.
The Avalanche are looking for a big win after falling to the Canucks in six playoff games last year and facing a team the Avs never faced in their first four playoff games.